Hike Palmer Trail Loop at Section 16

Manitou Springs, Colorado



5.5 miles

Elevation Gain

1400 ft

Route Type



Added by Sarah Mosquera

This popular trail in the heart of Colorado Springs offers fresh air, great views and a good workout!

The Section 16 trailhead can be found on lower Gold Camp Road. Almost immediately, the trail begins to rise in elevation. The grade is gentle at first but soon becomes a steep steady climb for about a mile and a half, until you reach the ridge. 

Along the way, you will see many intersecting trails on the right that will lead you to Red Rock open space-- to stay on section 16, continue to stay to the left. 

In Just over 1.5 miles you will reach the top of the ridge. To the right is where section 16 meets up with the Palmer Trail. A small detour to the left (about 15 feet) will take you to an outcropping of boulders that offer spectacular views to the south. 

You have the option to turn around at the top of the ridge and head back to the parking area to save a bit of time. Otherwise, the trail continues to the right (west) and flattens out a bit. Continue to stay to the left, there will be more intersecting trails on your right. 

This second section offers a gradual, winding descent for about three miles (great for a nice jog!). After about 3 miles, you will reach a valley that will lead to a large gravel road called High Drive. Take high drive to the left for about a mile, until you reach pavement (gold camp road). Stay to the left and walk a few hundred feet up the paved road to return to the trailhead. 

**Be sure to keep an eye out for Mountain bikers along the way! 

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